Your Weight is What You Eat

July 15th, 2011
Your Weight is What You Eat

If you have heard the old saying: ‘you are what you eat’, you will be interested to learn the phrase now comes with a new twist – ‘you weigh what you eat’.

Basically what this means is that there are a number of foods that scientists have found could be helpful in reducing your weight, or prevent you increasing weight.

For instance, rather than eating processed food, people looking to prevent becoming over weight in middle age should eat more non processed food. This is the finding of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, who believe losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight isn’t just about counting calories, but is also about choosing the right foods to eat.

Dr. Frank Hu, co-leader of the study told local reporters: “The idea that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods is a myth that needs to be debunked.”

The researchers believe they have also identified 4 lifestyle changes linked to weight gain. These are physical activity, sleep, the amount of TV watched and food choice.

With physical activity the researchers say that absolute levels of physical activity have no effect on keeping the weight off, whereas increasing activity over a period of time does.

The researchers also found people who sleep less than 6 hours and more than 8 hours are more likely to put weight on.

TV watching also affects weight gain – for every hour watched a third of a pound could be put on.

Finally, and perhaps the most surprising, is food choice. Choose the wrong foods and you are likely to gain weight. This was particularly true if you choose to eat processed foods such as chips, processed meat, refined grains, sweets and other desserts. By contrast the research showed a statistically significant link with weight loss when eating what could be described as healthier options – vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and yogurt.

The research itself followed 120,000 people over a period of 12 to 20 years. They were also split into 3 groups with the participants monitoring their own behaviour and completing a biennial survey.


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